▼What is the Kaitai-Shinsho

In this series, Mansai Nomura, Artistic Director of Setagaya Public Theatre (SePT), invites a range of guests to join him in exploring the origins of various contemporary Japanese art forms by examining their constituent parts. Through this process they also aim to seek out new approaches to theatre creation.

Each edition of  Kaitai-Shinsho features specialists from different fields discussing a chosen theme, and sometimes performing, as they and their host delve into the roots and essence of Japan’s stage arts.

It is hoped these talk-and-perform-style events will be welcomed by audiences eager not just to see works on stage, but to study performing arts in more depth.



Fermentation: A 1,000-year overview of popular music in Japan, from Gagaku (ceremonial court music) to today’s all-girl Keyakizaka 46 pop-dance troupe.

Mansai and two special guests, Takahiro Ueno and Fumihiko Yamada, will draw on their own experience as performers to trace the course of popular music in Japan through the ages.

In Mansai’s view, Japan’s diverse performance arts are the product of a long process in which diverse influences from continental Asia have been “fermented” into today’s unique and individual culture. That diversity is a key to today’s culture, and in this segment of the Kaitai-Shinsho series, Mansai and his guests examine the performing arts in Japan from that standpoint.



◆Mansai Nomura

Born in Tokyo on April 5, 1966, Mansai Nomura is the eldest son of the designated Living National Treasure and kyogen actor Manzo Nomura. Now a designated Important Intangible Cultural Asset himself, Nomura was appointed as the Artistic Director of Setagaya Public Theatre in 2002.

He is extremely active as a performer in both kyogen and noh, in Japan and internationally, and a popular actor in films and TV dramas. He directed and acted in plays including Atsushi – Sangetsuki Meijinden, Kuninusubito, Requiem on the Great Meridian and Macbeth, incorporating elements of traditional Japanese performing arts.

Nomura has received the National Arts Festival Award for Best New Talent and Best Actor, the Newcomers Art Encouragement Award, and the Asahi Performing Arts Award. With the rerun of Requiem on the Great Meridian at SePT in 2017, he won the Mainichi Art Award for Best Director and the Yomiuri Drama Award for Best Play. Finally, he is the Chief Executive Director of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics opening and closing ceremonies.


◆Takahiro Ueno

Born in Tokyo in 1981, Ueno is active as a dancer, choreographer and performance creator in Japan and the United States.

In 2006, after entering for the first time, he won the world’s most prestigious hip-hop dance contest, the “New York Apollo Amateur Night TV Show: Showtime at the Apollo.” He followed that with a record-breaking run of wins in each of the next eight years — successes that opened the way to a busy professional career.

In 2009, Ueno was selected as a dancer on Madonna’s world tour, when he performed in 30 shows at 18 venues across Europe. Since then, besides being active in theatre direction, he has done choreography for Keyakizaka 46 — whose hits include “Silent Majority,” “Fukyowaon” (“Discord”) and “Ambivalent” — and other top acts including AKB48, A.B.C-Z, Cho-tokkyuu and Sekai no Owari. Ueno also holds the Guinness World Record for “The Fastest 20-meter Moonwalk.”


◆Fumihiko Yamada

Born in Kyoto in 1978, Yamada joined the Board of Ceremonies of the Imperial Household Agency at the age of 15 in 1994, becoming a Gagakushi (Court Musician) in 2000 and subsequently its Professor of Hichiriki (a flageolet-like instrument).

At present he is also a member of Tokyo Gakusho, a Japanese court music group whose hichiriki section he has led since 2010.

In addition, he is a part-time lecturer in the Department of Traditional Japanese Music at Tokyo University of the Arts, and has been president of the non-profit Japanese Traditional Performing Arts organization since 2016.

In 2017, Yamada directed a gagaku performance for a dinner meeting between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. Presidential Assistant Ivanka Trump.

Cast & Creative

Planned by Mansai Nomura
Cast: Mansai Nomura, Takahiro Ueno, Fumihiko Yamada





Audience Support

Childcare Service

A childcare service is normally available for performances staged at Setagaya Public Theatre and Theatre Tram for which advance tickets are sold.

Charge: ¥2,200 per child
Eligibility: Children aged over 6 months and up to 9 years of age
Applications: Tel. 03-5432-1526 Setagaya Public Theatre
You may reserve childcare services up to noon of the day 3 days before the desired reservation time, but when the number of children registered reaches capacity, applications will closed. So please make your reservation well in advance. Also, please consult with the theatre regarding children with special needs.
Subcontractor: Kids’ Room Tinker bell Sancha

Wheelchair Spaces

Both Setagaya Public Theatre and Theatre Tram are equipped with wheelchair spaces to allow visitors to watch performances from their wheelchairs. However, as capacity is limited, use of wheelchair spaces is by reservation only.

Charge: 10% discount on the corresponding area ticket charge (plus up to one attendant free of charge)
Applications: Tel. 03-5432-1515 Theatre Ticket Centre

Wheelchair spaces may be reserved up to 19:00 on the day before the desired date, but when the number of reservations reaches capacity, applications will be closed. So please make your reservation well in advance.